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Gov. Deal swears in Ga. Supreme Court justice

Gov. Deal swears in Ga. Supreme Court justice

ATLANTA (AP) - Gov. Nathan Deal has sworn in the newest justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Keith Blackwell was sworn in Thursday morning in the House Chamber of the State Capitol.

Deal last month appointed the 37-year-old Blackwell to fill a vacancy left by Chief Justice George Carley. Carley's resignation as chief justice was effective Tuesday.

Blackwell had served on the Court of Appeals since he was appointed in 2010 by former Gov. Sonny Perdue. He is the 92nd justice since the court's creation in 1845.

Blackwell previously practiced civil and criminal law. He will serve on the court until 2014, when voters will decide whether to keep him on the bench for a six-year term.

3 Gwinnett grads win National Merit scholarships

3 Gwinnett grads win National Merit scholarships

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- Three recent graduates from high schools in Gwinnett County learned last week that they are among 2,000 students nationwide to receive scholarship money from the college and universities they will attend.

The students are winners of the National Merit College-Sponsored Scholarship. This honor comes with a monetary award between $500 and $2,000 a year for up to four years of undergraduate study.

All three students will attend Georgia Tech:

Kathryn Fitton
Graduated from Peachtree Ridge High School
Probable career field: Medicine

Drew Vander Wood
Graduated from Brookwood High School
Probable career field: Biochemistry

Ryan Ward
Graduated from Norcross High School
Probable career field: Business

Suwanee teen crowned Miss Georgia

Suwanee teen crowned Miss Georgia

COLUMBUS, Ga. -- A 19-year-old Georgia State University student from Suwanee has been crowned Miss Georgia.

Leighton Jordan won the statewide pageant Saturday night in Columbus. She won a $15,000 scholarship and a chance to compete in the Miss America pageant in January.

Jordan beat out 32 other contestants for the crown with a ballet routine. She is studying nursing and wants to become a pediatric oncology nurse practitioner. Jordan was previously crowned Miss Capital City.

She will travel the state over the next year promoting support for special needs children and their siblings.

The first runner-up in the pageant was Miss Georgia Cotton, Carly Mathis, and the second runner-up was Miss Atlanta, Briana Jewett. The third runner-up was Miss Peachtree, Lauren Edmonds, and the fourth runner-up was Miss Gwinnett County, Annie Walker.

5 Gwinnett students earn perfect scores on National Latin Exam

5 Gwinnett students earn perfect scores on National Latin Exam

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- Five students at three Gwinnett County high schools earned perfect scores on the 2012 National Latin Exam.

More than 130,000 students nationwide took the test, which assesses students' understanding of Latin.

The five "perfect" Gwinnett students achieved the distinction of Perfect Paper at the levels on which they were tested.

Three of those students attend North Gwinnett High School:

* Ho Lim Lee, 12th grade
Perfect Paper, Level 4 Poetry

* Josh O'Shields, 11th grade
Perfect Paper, Level 3 Poetry

* Angela Park, 10th grade
Perfect Paper, Level 2

The other two students are Sergio Parra, a 10th grader at Mill Creek High School (Perfect Paper, Level 2), and Kevin Kuonqui, an 11th grader at Mountain View High School (Perfect Paper, Level 1).

Deal to speak at drug court graduation

Deal to speak at drug court graduation

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- A graduation ceremony for the Gwinnett County Drug Court is set to have some notable speakers.

Gov. Nathan Deal, Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice George Carley and Gwinnett County Chairwoman Charlotte Nash are set to speak at the graduation Friday.

The ceremony will be held in the courtroom of the state supreme court in Atlanta.

Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge William M. Ray II will hand out diplomas. He has presided over the drug court since its founding seven years ago.

Six people are set to graduate.